how i learned to stop worrying and love the grey hair

i’m 33 years old, and i am a premature greybie.

i found my first grey hair around 16 or 17. I vividly recall being in the bathroom of my family home and ripping it out before anyone noticed. for about five years I found single hairs fairly often; never in a group, always around my cowlick in the front. then, when I was about 23, they started fighting back in formation.

i hate dyeing my hair: it smells, it’s full of chemicals,  it never last more than a week before they come back with a vengeance, and it turns my curly hair into a cross between steel wool and straw. so I stopped dyeing it in march. at first not much happened; i actually started to believe that my hair wasn’t as bad as i suspected and the greys i was always seeing were confined to the whispy little ‘einstein’ ones that i have permanently flying around my head in a haze. but in the last week or so it has morphed from badger stripes into full-on cruella deville territory!!

this is my hair today (half of it at least):

Badger stripes

spot the difference?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Badger(UO).jpg
source: wikipedia commons (CC NCU)  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/41/Badger(UO).jpg

it’s been a huge lesson in vanity; i read this blog from Lauren in the USA about her journey into early grey hair and she spoke about the self consciousness of the process, which i really didn’t think would affect me as much as it has. the past month was surprisingly even worse than the first month: i don’t know why! i’m sticking with it for as long as i can, too. my hair feels healthier than it has in years, and i’ve noticed weird bits of ginger turning up randomly which i suspect is a side effect of the old dye slowly wearing off. some days i feel incredibly old, and some days i don’t even realise i have very grey hair. most days i look like my grandmother, which can be interpreted as a compliment or a curse (i love you gran, but i want to look like you in a few more years if that’s okay!!! xxx)  i’ve got my sister’s wedding in february to work around; she something tells me she’s not planning to have a bridesmaid with mismatched nanna hair so i’ll have to either buck up, dye it, and start again, or find some sort of temporary solution. i’m not sure.
but it’s definitely turning into an interesting experiment in self confidence and image. i love dressing up and having fun with clothes, so i find it intriguing how hairstyles and beauty fit into that routine as well and the difference they can make to your overall mood and self expression. hopefully as my grey hair takes over it will destroy the self doubt and bring more positive image esteem that women are so good at ignoring and beating down.

first world problems i suppose!

more greyspiration here

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10 thoughts on “how i learned to stop worrying and love the grey hair

  1. I have noticed that many young folk are dyeing their hair grey… I stop dyeing mine for ages then recently started again… I like the playfulness of dyeing my hair different colours at the moment. It’s all about what works for you.

  2. I started going grey when I was 21. I’m 39 now. I have vowed to stop dyeing it as soon as Sean and I get married. I plan to embrace the grey by shaving it all off (for a cancer charity) and starting from scratch.

  3. I went grey in my early thirties. I’m just going to mention here that men with grey hair get called dignified and statesmanly.

      1. I went gray about 3 years ago when I was 42. The first few months were really hard. I used hairbands and scarfs and hairclips. I’ve had a few kids assume I must be a grandmother because only grandmas have gray hair, but I am breaking the stereotype I figure.

  4. I have been referred to as a silver fox, although I’d prefer to be a silverback gorilla.

    I remember years ago one of my grey haired women customers was surprised I remembered her, as she felt she was effectively invisible. I tend to remember people rather than hair shades, so it was an awakening. She and I became great friends over the counter.

  5. Im 18, and when i part my hair down the middle it’s nothing but grey hair. I’ve had this for about 3 years and like you i hate dyeing my hair so after my second time touching up i decided i would simply leave it alone.

  6. Same story here! Except I am 29 and instead of my sister’s wedding- I work in human resources at a corporate hotel. I needed to look presentable. I found a hair dresser who didn’t try to talk me out of letting it grow… And she foiled it through with my natural color. It breaks up the gray and makes the line blend better. I have now been growing it out 7 months! Good luck!

  7. your blue eyes are really going to stand out beautifully with your sparkley silver hair. Grey sounds so dull, rebrand it 😉 (32yo natural greyster who also started greying at 16) xx

  8. I found my first grey hair at sixteen. I dyed it for a while–when you have waist length, the prospect of letting it grow out is daunting—but I quit by my late 30’s. Now, I have Lily Munster hair–long and dark, with huge, sparkling silver streaks. I have total strangers stopping me in stores on the streets to tell me how beautiful it is. Embrace the grey!

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